Partners in Policymaking Information Call- Transcript
August 27, 2020, at 1 PM.
Good afternoon and welcome everyone to the Information call for the Partners in Policymaking Program.
Before we get started, a few housekeeping announcements:
We are recording this session so we can go back and pull the information we need for FAQs.
Mute and Unmute: If you look to the bottom of your screen, you should see a microphone icon. You can click on that to mute and unmute yourself. We will be asking everyone to keep themselves muted until the end of the introduction to the grant, and then we will open things up for questions. So right now, please everyone go ahead and mute yourselves. This will help us keep ambient noise to a minimum.
You can also turn your video off or on with the button at the bottom of your screen that looks like a movie camera.
Chat: If you want to say or ask something you can either type your thoughts in the chatbox, which looks like a cartoon speech bubble at the bottom of the screen, or wait until the question and answer part of this time together, or both. You can ask your questions through the chat which Arylon will read off in a little bit, or you may verbally ask your questions at that time.
If, after this call, you have additional questions, or need assistance to complete the application, please contact Arylon Brooks. He may be reached at email@example.com. You may also call Arylon or me by phone at 443-851-9351. Arylon will put contact information in the chat.
The format for our conversation: We will provide a brief overview of the program as it has been revised to an online format, we will talk about the history and importance of the program, the commitment one makes to be a part of the program, highlight the work of some who have completed the program and what they are doing now, talk about accommodations, provide some q and a received in previous information sessions that we hope may answer some of your questions, and then take your questions.
- What is Partners in Policymaking?
- Partners is an innovative, competency-based leadership training program intended for adults with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. In Maryland, our program is a little different. We didn’t have Partners in Policymaking in Maryland from about 2007 to 2018 so there were many parents who, when their children were younger, did not have the opportunity to participate. Therefore, in Maryland, we also open the program to parents of older (or adult children) with disabilities, siblings, and other relatives. We believe the experiences and perspectives of people who have these relationships have enriched the program significantly and we plan to continue with our current admissions plans.
- For some more background on Partners in Policymaking
- Partners emerged in the late 1980s as a leadership training program rooted in addressing the problems faced by people with developmental disabilities and their families.
- The purpose of the program is to teach best practices and to develop the competencies needed to influence public policy on local, state, and national levels.
- The goal of Partners in Policymaking is to educate participants on how to develop positive relationships with those who make policy—to become true partners in the policy that is made locally, statewide, and nationally to influence positive changes for people with I/DD and their families.
- Class participants will learn:
- How to become an advocate or be a better advocate
- Understanding policymaking and state-level political processes
- Obtain knowledge to help others and make a difference in your home community
- Build relationships and create a future network for effective change
- Most important topics/issues among class participants
- Disability rights
- Future planning and available supports
- Increasing inclusion in all aspects of daily life
- Greater access to public supports
- Inclusion in K-12 education
- Equity Issues (Healthcare, Employment, Housing, etc.)
- Projected Outcomes
- Increased Advocacy resulting in systems change, among people with I/DD and their families
PARTNERS IN POLICYMAKING TOP 10 – from current class participants:
How to make your Partners experience a success!
- SHOW UP and Be Present
- BE ON TIME
- BE PREPARED- This year, moving to an online platform, our in-class time will be abbreviated and used to present material, but also to review and discuss material that partners will be asked to access prior to the class period. We expect this flexibility will work better for people in our new environment, and provide balance to class members as they juggle other responsibilities like distance learning and work.
- TAKE NOTES
- RESPECT THE SPEAKER’S TIME
- RESPECT EACH OTHER
- USE WHAT YOU’RE LEARNING
- WRITE THANK YOU NOTES
- GET TO KNOW ALL YOUR PARTNERS
- USE YOUR EVALUATION FORM
- Is there a specific philosophical point of view that speakers and presentations will share?
- The basic philosophy is self-determination. Best practices, current philosophy, and policy will depend on the speaker’s perspective and the movement or policy being presented.
- Who is eligible to apply for the program?
- Eligible applicants include Self-Advocates with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and family members of persons with I/DD, including siblings of persons with I/DD. To be considered for the program, you must be a resident of the state of Maryland.
- What are the criteria you look for in self-advocates? What kind of disabilities are you looking for?
- We look for people that are invested in making a change. Not only in their own life but all lives for people with I/DD. So in the past, we have had people of various disabilities that have been involved in the program. Not to identify them by their disability but we have been able to accommodate people of various abilities. You must have an interest and passion for advocacy and for making positive change with and for people who have disabilities.
- When I click the link to apply- It takes me to a website that says Apricot?
- The link to the application is here when you click. If you are still having trouble you can contact Arylon (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a file copy that you can complete. Arylon would you please put the correct link in the chat. Please do notify us if you try again and you are still having difficulty as we do not want this to be a barrier to you being able to make your application.
- I have already filled out the application. When will I hear something?
- We will be in touch with everyone individually via email after applications close on September 7th at 5 PM. Once the selection committee finalizes their decisions, we will promptly reach out to all of the applicants. We hope to be making decisions by the 11th.
How many people are you looking to enroll in the class:
We are looking to enroll at least 30 new Partners. Of course, if we have the resources, we may be able to take one or two more than 30, but around 30 individuals including self-advocates and family members are what we are looking for.
- How important is it to be able to attend every session of the Partners program?
- Attending every session of the program is incredibly important. We are looking for class members with a dedication to taking full advantage of the investment in them.
We have designed the sessions to incorporate frequent breaks, and have added accommodations people may request to enhance their fullest experience with Partners.
Of course, life happens and this may impact your ability to take a class but what matters is that you come into the process fully intending on attending 100% of the courses.
- How much does it cost to be a part of the Partners in Policymaking program?
- The Partners program is free for participants. The Arc Maryland and the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council have, however, estimated that each spot in the program is valued at $5,000. Being a part of the Partners in Policymaking program is like a scholarship opportunity. Class members are chosen because of the potential seen in them to be lifelong advocates for people with disabilities.
- How can I stand out from other applicants to be selected?
- The more information you share about yourself, the better. Be thorough and complete in answering questions on the application. Tell us fully about yourself, your interests, and what you plan on doing with what you learn from the class.
- Is this program the first of its kind?
- Partners in Policymaking was originally developed in Minnesota in 1987. The program has since been implemented across over 30 states and internationally. While Partners was originally introduced in Maryland in the ’90s, our 2019 Class was the first class in the state in the past 12 years.
- What do Living Your Ideal Life and Taking Your Place mean?
- Living your Ideal Life mainly focuses on how we can support people with disabilities to make sure we understand their wishes and dreams. To develop a support network of natural and paid supports to help them reach their goals. How we look at independence and living, as well as housing. How we look at employment and opportunities to become gainfully employed
- Taking your Place is an opportunity for class participants to learn about opportunities in MD where you can get involved as an advocate. That may mean opportunities for board membership or board service, different committees, commissions, and workgroups, etc. Everyone will tailor their own going forward experience based on their interest.
- Would sessions be able to have closed captions? How can we get a transcript of this meeting?
- A transcript will be available through a link on the website. Closed captioning can be made available through Zoom for those who have an expressed need.
- Upon completion of the Partners in Policymaking program, how do I utilize my newfound skills?
- What you do with your Partners experience is completely up to you! Partners is about creating long-term agents of change. This can be accomplished through many channels of advocacy on local, state, and national levels. This can mean taking on leadership roles in volunteer organizations, participation in public policy and legislative sessions, and much more. Opportunities will present themselves during and after the class. It is up to you to seize them!
- If I do not get accepted, or cannot be a part of the program this year, will there be another opportunity for me in the future?
- Thanks to funding from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, Partners in Policymaking in the state of Maryland will be available this year for the 2020-21 class. While we hope the program may be extended beyond this year, at this point, that is not certain. That said, we strongly encourage those who are not accepted to remain in contact with us, in case additional opportunities are offered.
- Who can I contact for more information about Partners in Policymaking?
- For additional questions about Partners in Policymaking, you can reach out to Arylon Brooks at The Arc Maryland by phone at by email at email@example.com.
- What are some accommodations that might be available to me?
- We expect that many of our applicants will have what they need to participate in the Partners’ in Policymaking program. Namely, access to a computer or iPad, with a camera and speakers and time to set aside in an area of your home where you may take part in the classes. We expect there may be applicants who need support and/or equipment to fully participate in the program.
The Arc Maryland, People on the Go of Maryland (our programmatic partner), and the Developmental Disabilities Council are strongly committed to encouraging access to this important training program.
If applications require certain equipment to participate or support to participate, please detail those needs on the application form and we will be in touch with you to review your needs and talk about what we may be able to provide.
Some examples of accommodations may be equipment such as a camera and speakers for your personal laptop, headphones, or an iPad.
Some examples of support accommodations may be a respite or support personnel stipend, to enable the participant to hire a helper for short periods of time to watch over children at home or assist the partner with accessing the online material from home.
While our fund for accommodations is not extensive, we encourage a dialogue so we may do our best to meet needs and encourage your participation.
- What is the application deadline for the 2020-21 Partners in Policymaking program? When will I be notified if I was accepted?
- Applications 1for the 2020-21 program will be accepted until September 7th at 5 PM. Following the deadline, a review panel consisting of members of partnering organizations will review applications and select members for the class.
Applicants will be notified whether they were accepted to the 2020-21 class the following week.
Everyone applying for the class should reserve class time on September 20 and 21st in anticipation of acceptance, and due to the short time frame between review panel selection and the first class, so you will be prepared to attend if selected.
What time are classes going to be held?
Classes will generally be from 1 PM to 5 PM on class days. We will provide information through microsessions with frequent breaks for people with disabilities and family members to handle personal business such as getting children settled etc. Please check out the website and the application for specific class days and times.